Thursday, 15 September 2011 14:41

Meredith's Crafting Adventures in Kenya

Written by Stephania
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Happy Friday everyone! We had quite the exciting Thursday Night Dinner last night. Our dear friend Sandra Elkind had her first solo show last night! It was so inspiring to be back in a gallery surrounded by such impressive photography images.  Sandra is an image maker through and through.  Make sure to check out her work here.  I will be spending the day tomorrow getting ready for our very fun Table Setting crafting workshop with Spacecraft that will take place on Sunday.  We have a few open spots left! RSVP at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

To finish off our Travel Inspiration Week, Meredith is here to share her summer experiences with the wonderfully talented women in Eldoret, Kenya.


Thank you Mer for sharing! 


This summer I had the chance to travel to Eldoret, Kenya and work for six weeks at the sister school of Indiana University School of Medicine. Through this sister school relationship, Indiana University has created the IU-Kenya Partnership and has also established a program known as the Academic Model for Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), which focuses on preventing and treating HIV in Kenya. One of AMPATH’s main achievements is the creation of the Imani Workshop, a high quality craft production center that employs HIV+ artisans in western Kenya. Many of the Imani employees would not otherwise be able to find a job because of the severe stigma of HIV in Kenya. The Imani Workshop gives their employees, who are mostly women, a chance to get their lives back on track while promoting economic self sufficiency.


While in Kenya, I was able to visit the Imani workshop and see the employees hard at work. They create all different crafts, including jewelry, paintings, ceramics, fabric designs, and even paper. One of my favorite crafts, and hopefully Thursdays fans too, are the magazine beads. The magazine beads are the main product of the Imani Workshop and have led the women to design beautiful pieces of jewelry.


When I told Stephania about my trip and my experience at the Imani Workshop, she immediately asked me to describe to Thursdays readers how to make the magazine beads. So, your first step is to find a magazine with bright colors and thicker pages, such as the Oprah magazine, which is the magazine of choice at the Imani Workshop. Once you find the color scheme that you like, use scissors (or a paper cutter if you have one) to cut the paper into a long triangular shape.


Once you have the paper cut, you tightly roll it up, starting at the wider end, but make sure that you leave a hole in the center so you can thread the bead. It might be easier for beginners to roll the paper around a small wooden stick, about the size of a coffee straw.


After rolling the paper, cover the bead in Modge Podge so that it holds. Let it sit until dry, and Voilá! You have your very own magazine bead. You can now use these beads to make your own Imani jewelry creation.


I hope you all try to this great craft and please look at the Imani Workshop website (, where you can purchase any of their products. Making a purchase at the Imani Workshop will lead to 100% reinvestment in the workshop through which artisans will benefit from employment, skills training, and other forms of empowerment.

Asante sana! Thank you very much!



Last modified on Friday, 16 September 2011 08:03
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